The Stop Online Piracy Act, currently in committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, is drawing headlines today as major websites such as Wikipedia protested the bill with a blackout.
The legislation, if enacted, would expand the rights of U.S. authorities and copyright holders to fight online media piracy and trafficking counterfeit goods. Opponents of the bill have said, however, the legislation in its current form requires internet providers to monitor what its users upload and link to and gives the federal government the right to censor the web using techniques similar to those used in China.
Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), who represents eastern Suffolk County in the House, said today he would not vote in favor of the bill in its current form.
“Piracy of goods and intellectual property hurts America’s economy. Many solutions to this problem have been proposed in Congress, including the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) currently under consideration in the House Judiciary Committee. However, SOPA’s potential for unintended consequences, should it be enacted in its current form, are extremely concerning. I am primarily concerned about the bill’s potential impact on consumers’ ability to access an open and free Internet, including lawful domestic websites. I oppose SOPA as it is currently drafted. However, I hope that as the legislative process continues, the important concerns of all parties can be addressed in a way that protects both property rights and the freedom of the Internet,” the Congressman said in a statement today.
To read more about SOPA and the mirroring bill in the U.S. Senate, the Protect IP Act, click here.
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